O2 Xda Flame review: O2 Xda Flame

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The Good 2GB of onboard storage. Wi-Fi. 3G connectivity. Office applications. Dedicated graphics processor. Doubles as a remote control.

The Bad Huge. Relatively costly.

The Bottom Line The Flame promises a lot, and delivers a lot -- both in raw size and features. It is sadly let down by its battery life, however.

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7.3 Overall

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Most consumer-styled smartphones have gone for the sleek and sassy look -- we're thinking here of models such as the Motorola E6, or the Samsung BlackJack. They're basically the same as their chunkier enterprise counterparts, only in slimmer and presumably more enticing enclosures.

For its latest consumer-friendly smartphone, O2's taken a gamble in the opposite direction, presumably with the thinking that consumers will figure that a large phone must offer more for your money because it's, well, very large. And the O2 Xda Flame is, indeed, big. Humongous, even -- measuring in at a very hefty 126 by 74 by 17.5mm and with a carrying weight of 190g, this isn't a phone that slides casually into your pocket. Well, not unless you happen to be Andre The Giant, and as he sadly passed away fourteen years ago, it's probably safe to say you're not.

The Flame is a touchscreen Windows Mobile 5.0 smartphone, with a hefty 2GB of onboard storage ROM; this can be added to via the microSD card slot on the side of the phone. It sports not one, but two processors -- an Intel XScale PXA 270 Processor running at 520MHz for primary functions, and then an additional dedicated graphics processor, the NVIDIA GoForce 5500. It's an unusual first in a smartphone, further blurring the line between smartphones and ultraportable PCs.

In connectivity terms, the Flame is both a 3G and tri-band GSM (900/1800/1900MHz) phone (but no HSDPA) with inbuilt Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0 networking. And lest anyone accuse O2 of leaving anything out, it also supports TV-out (for displaying video, photos and at a more mundane level, PowerPoint presentations) and can double as a universal remote control.

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